Advanced Aural Skills

A woman sat at a keyboard wearing headphones. Aural teacher is sounds bass notes.

Key information:

Course dates:
Mon 17 July – Fri 21 July 2023
Course times:
Art form:
9am, Sunday 9 July 2023
Level of study:
Short Courses & Summer Schools (ages 18+) | Short Courses & Summer Schools, Workshops & Saturday Centres (ages 4-18)
Mode of study:
Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Summer Schools (July–August)

Course info

There are limited spaces remaining on this course - please email to enquire about availability.

Ages 14+

Course Dates & Times

Monday 17 July - Friday 21 July 2023


About Advanced Aural Skills

This five-day music course will help develop your existing aural skills to the level required for ABRSM and Trinity Grade 8 and above.

Who is the course for?

Singers, musicians and/or composers wanting to refine aural skills at a post-grade 5 level.

(Please note that this course has more comprehensive and inclusive content of practical and theoretical experience)

What can I expect?

You can expect to build on the skills covered in Essential Aural Skills (although you don't have to have completed that course to join this one). You will be taught listening and memorising skills up to the level required for ABRSM and Trinity Grade 8 and above for the following topics:

  • Melody:

    • copying longer melodic phrases vocally and instrumentally
    • singing and playing upper/lower melodies of a two-part phrase
    • interval recognition, including compound intervals
    • advanced sight-singing
  • Harmony:
    • revision of cadences
    • detailed chord-naming
    • tonality, including chromaticism, whole-tone, serialism
    • modulation (including practical work)
  • Rhythm:
    • recognising time-signatures, musical pulse
    • advanced rhythm and sight clapping

In addition to the topics listed above, the course will also cover:

  • Practical working knowledge of advanced theory
  • Mistake spotting: pitch, rhythm, dynamics, articulation, speed
  • Style and historical period recognition
  • Recognising character and form of music (dance, chorale, elegy, fugue etc.)
  • Understanding of structure within form
Do I need anything for the course?
  • Your instrument/voice
  • Manuscript paper
  • Pencil

Course Fee


Participation Bursaries are available for this course. (Please note the application deadline for participation bursaries is 12 June 2023.)

There are limited spaces remaining on this course - please email to enquire about availability.
  • Please note that accommodation in Sundial Court isn't available in 2023


  • For everyone aged 14+.
  • ABRSM Grade 5 instrument and theory (or equivalent level) recommended.
  • Participants must have sufficient English language skills to cope with course demands.

About the Course Tutor

This course is taught by Shelagh Sutherland.

Shelagh is a freelance pianist who has been teaching piano, violin, singing and Alexander Technique since 1972. She has been teaching the aural course at Guildhall School since 1990, which she was instrumental in designing.

Find the Short Course that's perfect for you

Explore our Short Courses & Summer Schools